The first kind is the one President Obama gave on Sunday night from the Oval Office. What was the point of that thing? Thirteen minutes of boilerplate about how the terrorists are not going to win, and how everybody had better remember to be nice to Muslims. OK — fine, but did that require a national presidential address? If you’re the president and you take the extraordinary opportunity to address the nation live, you had better have something to say. Was anyone reassured, moved, or convinced by that speech? Did it change anyone’s mind? It was weak all around.
On the other hand, we had this appalling moment the other day from the Christian president of a Christian university, talking to his students after the San Bernardino massacre:
Jerry Falwell Jr. encouraged his students to arm themselves by obtaining a state concealed carry permit. I cannot quite believe that a Christian university president urged undergraduates to buy guns, learn how to use them, and bring them to campus (where they have been approved by the Liberty U. board). And by the way, he was carrying a pistol in his pocket when he made the speech! Falwell clarified his remarks in an interview with the Washington Post:
“I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,” he says, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud applause while he said, “and killed them.”
… Falwell said that when he referred to “those Muslims,” he was referring to Islamic terrorists, specifically those behind the attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino. “That’s the only thing I would clarify,” Falwell said. “If I had to say what I said again, I’d say exactly the same thing.”
Undergraduates packing heat. That’s just what college campuses need. Leaving aside the rather large issue of whether or not it’s appropriate for the head of a Christian university to say such things, as a practical matter, seriously, who wants their kid going to a university where any number of the students could be armed in the classroom and on the quad, at the explicit encouragement of the administration? It beggars belief.